Classical Music

Canada’s Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer Names Winner

Canadian conductor Francis Choinière received $125,000 from the sponsorship organization for its 2023/24 round


Mécénat Musica is a cultural program that is funded by donors to secure the arts and culture scene for years to come. Its Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer (Goyer Prize) is one of Canada’s biggest awards and one of the world’s most significant for a collaborative emerging artist in classical music.

The 2023/24 winner of the award, Francis Choinière, is recognized for his work as choirmaster and artistic director of the Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir of Music Lovers (OPCM), and as the principal conductor and co-artistic director of Orchestre FILMharmonique and its Ensemble Classico Moderne

Since March 2020, Choinière has generated profits of $2.5 million for his ensembles. During this time, he conducted over 40 performances in 10 venues including Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Maison Symphonique, Grand Théâtre de Québec, and Salle Roy Thompson, across seven Canadian cities.

Mécénat Musica invites individuals to make an in-perpetuity donation of $25,000 to a cultural organization important to them and encourages philanthropic families to match these individuals’ donations with ones of $250,000 or $2.5 million. 

Under Choinière’s direction, the OPCM will be giving $50,000 from the Goyer Prize to create a $1 million Mécénat Musica fund for themselves in perpetuity.

Also the winner of the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s Christa and Franz-Paul Decker Conducting Fellowship, Choinière is co-founder and president of GFN Productions, which produces film, classical, and pop concerts.

Between 2018 and 2022 he worked with various ensembles, such as the Canadian Opera Company as assistant conductor, the National Arts Centre Orchestra as assistant and cover conductor, plus leading the Choeur Fernand Lindsay, collaborating with conductors Stephan Layton and Corrado Rovaris.

Additionally, Choinière has collaborated as chorus master and collaborative conductor with artists including Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman, Ramin Djawadi, Hans Zimmer, and Jonsi and Alex Somers.

Earning his master’s of conducting degree at McGill University studying with Alexis Hauser, Choinière’s other mentors included Francois Xavier Roth, Yoav Talmi, and Colin Metters.




The Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer is named for the late Jean-Pierre Goyer, a lawyer and Canadian Cabinet minister. Notably, when he was board president of the Metropolitan Orchestra, he hired a then 25 year-old Yannick Nézet-Séguin, now its music director, as an emerging conductor.

Mécénat Musica has now created $81 million in perpetuity for 50 Quebec cultural organizations, with donations from over 600 contributors. The funds are administered by partner community foundations, the Foundation of Greater Montreal, Jewish Community of Montreal, and the Quebec Philanthrope Foundation.

Since 2020, community initiatives for health and music launched by Mécénat Musica include its Mini-Concerts Santé, Mini-Opéras Santé, Mini-Galas, Prix HEC Artistes, ArtChoral, and Prix 3 Femmes, which supports the development of new operas by emerging Canadian female and non-binary artists.

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